Growing Fruits and Veggies in Greenhouses

from: Agriculture Business Week, Posted on August 20th, 2008

Veteran agriculturist Arsenio Barcelona says that adapting the greenhouse technology could really be expensive, but would benefit the farmers in the long run.

How would you like to enjoy fruits like melons, tomatoes, etc. all year round? With greenhouse technology, one can enjoy even out-of-season fruits anytime of the year.

A greenhouse is a structure built to accommodate and grow plants even in adverse weather or environmental conditions. They were developed primarily to allow agricultural activity proceed despite adverse weather conditions. This is especially true in temperate countries that experience extreme swings in weather conditions.

Greenhouses in these countries are built to trap heat and protect plants from cold. In tropical countries like the Philippines, greenhouses serve a different purpose. Arsenio Barcelona, owner of Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, is one such person who distributes greenhouses as well as other agricultural supplies. According to him, a greenhouse in the country serves to protect the plants from rain, wind and pests.

Greenhouses are used in the country because of the inherent instability of the weather. We may lack winter but our seasonal weather brings us a lot of rain and wind in certain months that may damage the plants. Also because of the tropical weather in the country, we have numerous species of pests that damage crops. Taking the Philippines’ unique set of problems, greenhouses are often built with polyethylene roofing, fine mesh net and other lightweight materials to serve their purpose as shelter, windbreaker and barrier.


The greenhouse can save farmers a lot of money as well as increase one’s profit from their crops. Barcelona says there is a growing market for fresh, clean, pesticide-free vegetables that those using greenhouses can tap. Aside from this, farmers can also reduce their pesticide costs Aside from this, the greenhouse’s irrigation systems will be able to more efficiently utilize the water used in irrigation.

Greenhouses in the country comes are often constructed using indigenous materials such as bamboo. Farmers in the more remote areas often use these native greenhouses. Another widely used greenhouse model is the Israeli model. These systems however are rather expensive and unaffordable to the common farmer. That is why Harbest has introduced two types of greenhouses that were designed for the country.

One of the greenhouse models they have introduced is the Maligaya type greenhouse. This is the smallest greenhouse they have covering a 60-sqm area.

It come with its own irrigation system sufficient for 500 sqm of land. The Maligaya type is  named after Mayor Maligaya of  Magallanes, Cavite, who de signed and patterned it after an  existing Taiwanese model. The  greenhouse uses a combination  of local and Taiwanese materials to ensure quality and  affordability. These and other types of greenhouses could theoretically be able to grow most seasonal crops all-year round.

A lot of ornamental and food plants can be grown in a greenhouse. Some of these plants are tomatoes, melons, bell peppers, cucumbers and lettuce. Ornamental plants grown in greenhouses are anthuriums and orchids. Due to the protection and stable conditions provided by the greenhouse, farmers can grow these plants all-year round without using fertilizers. This gives farmers a chance in penetrating the export organic food market.

According to Barcleona, the global organic market using greenhouse is currently dominated by Africa and South America. Given the size of the market, it would be a tremendous advantage for farmers to utilize greenhouse technology. Recognizing this, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has initiated a campaign to help promote the use of greenhouses. Already, pilot test areas have been established in Bukidnon, Baguio, Tagaytay and Mt. Pitanglad. The results from these areas are encouraging given the relative absence of problems like typhoons.

To support the efforts of the government in promoting greenhouse technology, Harbest has conducted in cooperation with the DA “techno demos” to help familiarize farmers with the technology. The techno demos are done with the LGUs as part of their protective agricultural practices program. The techno demo gives greenhouse training to around 50 to 100 farmers or municipal agriculturists. The training usually costs Php418,000. The whole package includes training costs as well as the installation of a greenhouse complete with irrigation systems.

The training typically lasts 75 days. However, even with the LGUs, support farmers have been slow in adapting greenhouse technology primarily because of the huge investment it entails. A simple greenhouse requires Php68,000 for it to be installed. This is beyond the buying capacity of a small farmer.

Due to lack of capital, the farmer is forced to rely on his crops’ seasonality and its accompanying problems. But steps are being taken to economize existing greenhouse types through the adoption of local materials such as GI pipes, plastics and fine wire nets. Templates for these economized greenhouse types can be seen in Taiwanese greenhouses. But experts explain that the technology is cost efficient, meaning a farmer might invest more, but in the long rim, he w1ll also be earning more. An example of this will is the Israeli type, which can last from 5 to 10 years whereas; a Maligaya type greenhouse has a shorter return period.

The key to popularizing the use of greenhouses, according to Barcelona, is to stress this cost-efficiency angle. He emphasizes the point that by penetrating the foreign organic vegetable market, farmers would be able to earn much more than they do. But he admits that there is still a lot of room for improvement particularly in the management of greenhouses. He said that the government should try to train people in operating greenhouses. “For people to invest in greenhouses and make money, you will need skilled people to operate these greenhouses,” he enthuses.

An example of the growing popularity of farming using greenhouses can be seen in the decision of DOLE Philippines to accredit two greenhouse operators supplying them. He said that our country’s produce is at par with international standards and farmers’ yields can even be twice of what they normally harvest using traditional means. Another advantage is that one greenhouse can be operated by only one person greatly decreasing their manpower costs.

But for greenhouses to be effective in the country, several problems must be addressed. The first is the importance of training and making the greenhouses affordable to the ordinary farmer. Barcelona emphasized that one must ensure a steady supply of water. According to him, “Any high-value farming venture will be unsuccessful without water.” He said that the drip irrigation system of greenhouses allows for a more efficient use of water lowering this cost factor. He adds that our country’s slow adoption of greenhouses means our local market is not yet developed.

Therefore, there should be a re-education of sort in order for the farmers to appreciate the advantages of concentrating on the high-end market. “Once people have money, they will demand higher quality vegetables.” He said most of the reluctance in adapting greenhouses is because agriculture is inherently a big risk. “It’s like gambling,” Barcelona muses. Still, he says that by improving their technology and marketing channels, farmers will be able to greatly benefit from the numerous advantages of adapting the greenhouse technology.

9 Responses to “Growing Fruits and Veggies in Greenhouses”

  1. EDILBERTO V. SANTIAGO, Philippines Says:
    A new Greenhouse is being built in our Agricultural Station. Right now I am surfing the INTERNET for ideas, literatures, recommendations, etc. on how to plant vegetables and other crops in the greenhouse. Thanks for the information in your website. I will apply them in our greenhouse.
  2. miguel Says:
    where can i find the supplier or manufacturer of taiwanese greenhouse?
  3. leany Franz Says:
    contact Engr Emi Siojo for greenhouse fabrication and installation,09188029145/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Images and quotation available upon request,.

  4. Edward Ocon Says:
    For Greenhouse Structure, Irrigation System and other Agri – Infrastructure, feel free to contact us at 09268203395/09192617351 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  5. Echo Zhang Says:
    This is Echo from China Longyoung Greenhouse. We are specialized in Economical Tunnel Greenhouse,Hi-efficient and Affordable Cost. LongYoung Greenhouse Company Limited
    Web: Tel: 0086 592 5653587 Fax 0086592 5751941 Skype Lygreenhouse Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., MSN: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Yahoo This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  6. Rita Says:
    China Longyoung Greenhouse Industry Co.,ltd , specializes in greenhouse design & assembly, manufacturing and offering structure, covering material, kits, weather-control equipment, irrigation equipment and all material for greenhouse planting.

    Waiting for cooperation with you with our quality products and pretty competitive price.

    Kind regards,

    Tel: 0086 0592 5653587
    Fax: 0086 0592 5751940
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  7. alex acosta Says:
    I’m a growers in greenhouse here in canada we do a lot of veggies and organic veggies here
  8. Roel Says:
    any other manufacturer or supplier that are based here in the Philippines?
  9. jojo Says:
    Hello,I’m looking for partners to buy 20 units of greenhouse from korea at least 10 person 2 units for each other we can save a lot of money.I inquire from one company n manila and they give me quatation for 500 sqm.for more than 1m,we can save money for more or less 500 thousand Php.Please email me if you are interested.

Urban Agriculture

66 Things You Can Grow At Home: In Containers, Wit…

From: Planet Green Growing your own food is exciting, not only because you get to see things grow from nothing into ready-to-eat fruits and veggies, but you also don't have to worry about the pesticides they might contain, and you definitely cut down on the miles they—and you—have to travel. As it turns out, with pretty minimal effort, anyone can be a gardener. My boyfriend and I are essentially first-timers this season and so far have the beginnings of strawberries peeking out, tomatoes are on their way, the basil's about...

Read more

Corn Farming Profit Opportunity

From: Agriculture Philippines Corn Price Rises Near Record High Corn prices are surging due to severe drought conditions in the USA and the very low corn harvest there currently. Many food commodity prices are increasing due to a variety of factors affecting supply and demand. The fact is that with the increasing global population food demand and the decreasing global farming harvests is out pacing supply causing prices to go higher, and that creates an opportunity for those already farming and new farmers. The forecast for the next 12 months...

Read more

World Running Out of Farmers

{mp4}jim_rogers_farmer{/mp4} From: Moneynews Agricultural commodities will serve as a lucrative investment in the coming years, says noted commodities bull Jim Rogers. Stocks won't perform well until major industrialized nations pay down their debts and make their economies more competitive, which won't happen overnight.

Read more

Growing Your Own Food: Permaculture, Integrative O…

From: Global Research – by Rady Ananda – August 8, 2011 Review of Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlee (2010, 322 pp.); and Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale Integrative Farming and Gardening by Sepp Holzer (English version 2011, 232 pp.) While the Bush reign may be described as a war on privacy, Obama’s is clearly a war on food freedom.* As his Monsanto administration arrests organic farmers and distributors, seizing and destroying healthy foods privately contracted and sustainably grown, this tyranny is not unique to the United States.  All over the world, organic, sustainable farmers are under attack...

Read more

Supermarkets, restaurants vow to buy local farm pr…

From: Business Mirror – Thursday, 28 July 2011 –  Jennifer A. Ng / Reporter Major supermarkets, hotels and restaurants have committed to patronize, sell and use local agriculture and fishery products following an appeal made by the Philippine government. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala also disclosed that the Department of Agriculture (DA) will establish a central depot or distribution hub where small supermarkets could buy their regular stocks of various agri-fishery products, including onions. “The private sector’s commitment will provide the much-needed boost to promote local farm products versus imported ones and subsequently encourage Filipino farmers to produce more and earn more,” said Alcala...

Read more

David Suzuki: Small farms may be better for food s…

From: Straight – By David Suzuki, June 14, 2011 We often assume the only way to feed the world’s rapidly growing human population is with large-scale industrial agriculture. Many would argue that genetically altering food crops is also necessary to produce large enough quantities on smaller areas to feed the world’s people. But recent scientific research is challenging those assumptions. Our global approaches to agriculture are critical. To begin, close to one billion people are malnourished and many more are finding it difficult to feed their families as food prices increase. But is large-scale industrial farming the answer? Large industrial farms are energy intensive...

Read more

Brooklyn Grange

Brooklyn Grange is the product of Wisconsin native and Head Farmer Ben Flanner, who in 2009 started the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, the first rooftop soil farm in NYC. Flanner’s interest and passion for farm-to-table food led to a farming team with roots in the restaurant business. The owners of Roberta’s in Bushwick, Chris Parachini and Brandon Roy, as well as restaurant veteran Anastasia Plakias, sustainable food advocate Gwen Schantz, and the team’s first apprentice Rob Lateiner, in addition to dozens of volunteers, all contribute to the farm’s growing success. The team partnered with Bromley Caldari, a NYC architect firm...

Read more

Ormoc Leyte Vegetables Farm

From Agriculture Philippines This Ormoc Leyte Vegetable Farm below was applied with Nutriplant Organic Fertilizer to their Broccoli, Tomatoes, Corn, and Lettuce. Their harvest results were very good and they saved on their input costs using Nutriplant Organic Fertilizer, and Apsa80 Adjuvant.

Read more

UA in Naga City

Naga is a mid-size city of 150,000 residents internationally and nationally renowned as among the “best practices” in good local governance in the Philippines and in the developing world. Naga City has maximized the opportunities for governance reform, local capacity building, and improved delivery of basic services created by political decentralization under the Local Government Code. Since 1988, Naga City has been creating and implementing various mechanisms to involve local organized groups, particularly from the marginalized sectors of society, in governing the city. Its City Government has been working closely with highly functional People’s Council and various other Councils, Committees, Special...

Read more

Farm City

Start a farm in the city Change your communityby growing what you eat! Transform your hood for good Urban farming is not a new concept, but it is gaining new support among diverse citizen groups all over the country. Schools, colleges, churches, city councils, government agencies, parks departments, anti-hunger groups, healthcare providers, and nonprofit organizations are coming together to give a fresh new meaning to "greening the city." Residents of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvaniacreate a garden at an intersection on the edgeof the Wilkes University campus. The projectis co-sponsored by NCAT and SPIN (Small Plot Intensive) Farming. Photo: Lee Rinehart, NCAT

Read more

Organic-farm group wants P200-M government help

from Tuesday, 01 February 2011 20:28 – by Jennifer A. Ng / Reporter NONPROFIT organization Organic Producers and Trade Association (Opta) is asking the government for as much as P200 million in budget support for its programs and projects which are primarily aimed at encouraging more Filipinos to go into organic farming and consume organic products. Opta president Mara Pardo de Tavera noted that her group presented its proposals to Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala on Tuesday. “We hope to secure the support of the government for our programs and projects. Our initiatives [constitute] an integrated approach to developing and promoting organic farming in...

Read more

How Organic Agriculture Can Feed the World

Witnessing a Shift in the Worldview of Agriculture [By HEATHER GRAY and K. RASHID NURI] Recent research indicates that organic farming can feed the world, and is actually making a significant difference everywhere. In the United States and Europe, universities are reporting that organically produced food will address the problems of hunger and poverty facing the world’s growing population. This is not a surprising finding for organic farmers and advocates of organic agricultural production. The American worldview of agriculture is, in fact, making a radical shift. In 1990 sociologists Curtis Beus and Riley Dunlap wrote a fascinating description of paradigms in agriculture in...

Read more

HARBEST tells Bicol farmers

Philippines, Camarines Sur—Farmers in Bicol were should go for self-sufficiency in vegetables so that the region stops relying on produce from other places that sell at higher prices in local markets. “You should produce your own vegetables because a big chunk of the cost being shouldered by consumers [here] is actually the cost of transportation,” Arsenio Barcelona, president of HARBEST Agribusiness Corp., said here over the weekend before 200 participants in a 10-week training program on the commercial production of high-value vegetables. HARBEST is one of the sponsors of the training course organized by the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office based...

Read more

Growing Fruits and Veggies in Greenhouses

from: Agriculture Business Week, Posted on August 20th, 2008 Veteran agriculturist Arsenio Barcelona says that adapting the greenhouse technology could really be expensive, but would benefit the farmers in the long run. How would you like to enjoy fruits like melons, tomatoes, etc. all year round? With greenhouse technology, one can enjoy even out-of-season fruits anytime of the year. A greenhouse is a structure built to accommodate and grow plants even in adverse weather or environmental conditions. They were developed primarily to allow agricultural activity proceed despite adverse weather conditions. This is especially true in temperate countries that experience extreme swings in weather...

Read more

Feeding the city

Series Introduction As Tom Philpott explains in his introductory essay to this series, cities for centuries have played an integral part in producing food for their residents. Only recently did cars and trains replace horses — and garden-friendly horse poop — a switch that made possible the long-distance supply chain of big-farms-to-big-supermarkets that’s the foundation of the modern American urban food system. Thanks to a confluence of pressures — rising fuel prices, a nostalgic desire to reconnect with our food sources, a new awareness of the environmental and moral costs of industrial agriculture — that model is losing ground. Not since the...

Read more

Davao entrepreneur pushes farm tourism as a way of…

Source: Agriculture Business Week While the global crisis is reducing consumption across nations and social classes, causing massive unemployment and constricting the world economy to a precarious extent, other sectors are cashing in on some of its unexpected beneficial effects. Among them is the herbs and other plants sector, which is experiencing immense growth, according to Edsa Garden House consultant Pearl Banaag. “Coupled with the thriving niche markets that promote and encourage healthy living for cosmopolitan lifestyles, herbs and other plants are now slowly taking centerstage,” Banaag said.

Read more

An Urban Homestead

Pioneering a journey towards self sufficiency, one step at a time A Family in the CityAn Urban Homestead A Homegrown Revolution Path to Freedom is a grassroots, family operated, original urban homestead located in the midst of Pasadena Surrounded by urban sprawl and just a short distance from a freeway, the Dervaes Family have steadily worked at transforming this ordinary city lot into an organic and sustainable micro-farm. This website documents the many steps the Dervaeses have taken and hopes to inspire fellow travelers on their own life-changing journey. Be inspired to take the first step...

Read more

The history of urban agriculture should inspire it…

By Tom PhilpottGrist — August 3, 2010 Grist food editor Tom Philpott farms and cooks at Maverick Farms, a sustainable-agriculture nonprofit and small farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. This is the first instalment in Grist’s Feeding the City series, which we’ll be running over the course of the next several weeks. Excerpt: “Few things scream ‘Hipster’ like an apartment garden.” Thus spake the New York City music magazine Death + Taxes, and it’s easy to see why. In trendy neighborhoods from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to San Francisco’s Mission district, urban youth are nurturing vegetables in window sills, fire escapes, and...

Read more

From Seedlings to Servings — 11 Year Old Grows Ton…

From: Good News at Tonic By Contributor: Diane Herbst – July 15, 2010 It all began in third grade, when Katie Stagliano's 40-pound cabbage fed 275 homeless people. Now, Katie's six gardens have produced over 4,000 pounds of vegetables to feed the needy. When Katie Stagliano was in third grade, she planted a cabbage in her family's small garden. When it grew to an astounding 40 pounds, she donated it to a soup kitchen, where it was made into meals for 275 people (with the help of ham and rice). "I thought, 'Wow, with that one cabbage I helped feed that many people?...

Read more

The RUAF Foundation

The RUAF Foundation is an international network of seven regional resource centres and one global resource centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security. RUAF is providing training, technical support and policy advice to local and national governments, producer organizations, NGO's and other local stakeholders. For more information you are welcome to contact one of the RUAF Partners. The RUAF website contains information on the RUAF-FSTT programme, the activities in each pilot city and all RUAF publications, including the Urban Agriculture Magazine as well as an extensive online bibliographic database and other valuable resources.

Read more